After Nicolás Maduro narrowly won Venezuela’s presidential election on April 14th, his chief opponent, Henrique Capriles, immediately disputed the result. Two months later, the government is still struggling to put the issue of its legitimacy to rest, both at home and abroad. The latest attempt came this week from the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena. She claimed that a laborious audit of the tallies produced by electronic voting machines against the paper receipts that correspond to each vote had confirmed that Mr Maduro had indeed won by 1.49 percentage points.
Mr Capriles called the audit a “farce”. The CNE has refuted an allegation that nobody has made: that the machines failed to tally the votes properly. The opposition challenged the result in the supreme court on different grounds. It says that violence at polling stations, coercion, multiple voting and the casting of votes for the dead were on such a scale as to affect the result.
Evaluating these claims would mean checking the cuaderno (manual log) for each machine, in which voters place their signatures and thumbprints against their name and identity-card numbers, as well as the results from a fingerprinting system (known as SAI) intended to stop people voting more than once. The CNE has refused to release the logs (claiming it would be illegal); it has stalled about when the SAI data might be available.
Full Article: Venezuela’s election audit: Beside the point | The Economist.